Ac­tions: Work visas might be re­duced

China Daily (Canada) - - HOLIDAY -

Zhang Zhixin, head of Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal stud­ies at the China In­sti­tutes of Con­tem­po­rary In­ter­na­tional Re­la­tions, said the US un­der Trump’s watch is ready to de­fend its eco­nomic and se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, even at the risk of tak­ing on other coun­tries, be they friend or foe.

Trump’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to ex­pand employment by dis­cour­ag­ing US com­pa­nies from in­vest­ing overseas has been wel­comed by many un­der­priv­i­leged US ci­ti­zens, Zhang said.

The new ad­min­is­tra­tion’s plans also might af­fect pro­fes­sion­als from China and other coun­tries hop­ing to se­cure a job in the US.

Re­ports said the H1-B work visa pro­gram that al­lows US em­ploy­ers, par­tic­u­larly Sil­i­con Val­ley gi­ants, to hire top for­eign pro­fes­sion­als also faces changes as “part of a larger im­mi­gra­tion ef­fort”, said Wang Dong, an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of in­ter­na­tional stud­ies at Pek­ing Univer­sity and sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the Bei­jing-based think tank Pan­goal In­sti­tu­tion.

It is pos­si­ble that Trump could lower the num­ber of work visa ap­pli­ca­tions from the an­nual quota of 65,000 set aside for “spe­cialty po­si­tions”, Wang said.

“A rene­go­ti­a­tion is also likely, but the pain will soon be felt byUS com­pa­nies and work-visa ap­pli­cants, a lot of whom are Chi­nese” he said.

Try­ing to pre­vent im­mi­grants from en­ter­ing the US il­le­gally, and de­port­ing those whoare al­ready in the coun­try, partly in the name of com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism, is ar­guably an ef­fec­tive if con­tro­ver­sial way of se­cur­ing jobs for lo­cal bluecol­lar work­ers, Zhang said.

“That does not bode well for Bei­jing, which may have to pre­pare for head-to-head ne­go­ti­a­tions with­Wash­ing­ton on trade, diplo­macy and se­cu­rity,” Zhang said.

Un­der Trump’s tougher vet­ting of im­mi­grants, which he said is needed to pre­vent ter­ror at­tacks, he has or­dered a 120-day hold on al­low­ing refugees into the US, an in­def­i­nite ban on Syr­ian refugees, and a 90-day ban on en­try of ci­ti­zens from seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries.

“How far Trump will push the en­ve­lope on im­mi­gra­tion and what he might do to by­pass in­sti­tu­tional bar­ri­ers remains un­pre­dictable,” Wang said.

“But one thing is clear: ‘Make Amer­ica Great Again’ will be cou­pled with con­tin­ued bit­ter con­fronta­tions between him and his op­po­nents and chaos may fol­low,” he added. The slo­gan was heav­ily used by Trump’s presidential cam­paign.

Con­tact the writ­ers at zhao­huanxin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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